August 10th, 2020

Bargain Finder 255: AccurateShooter’s Deals of the Week

AccurateShooter Deals of the Week Weekly Bargain Finder Sale Discount Savings

At the request of our readers, we provide select “Deals of the Week”. Every Sunday afternoon or Monday morning we offer our Best Bargain selections. Here are some of the best deals on firearms, hardware, reloading components, optics, and shooting accessories. Be aware that sale prices are subject to change, and once clearance inventory is sold, it’s gone for good. You snooze you lose.

Cabela’s — Bergara B-14 HMR Rifle, $949.99

Bergara B-14 HMR rifle PRS hunting

Good Ergonomics, Works for Hunting plus PRS Factory Class

Bergara rifles combine accuracy, good ergonomics, and smooth function at a lower costs than many other brands. If you’re looking for a new rifle that’s capable of hunting, PRS competition, or target shooting, check out the Bergara B-14 HMR now on sale. Available in 6.5 Creedmoor for $949.99, the B-14 HMR features a quality synthetic stock with adjustable cheek-piece (scope not included). The 24″ barrel has a threaded muzzle, so you can add a muzzle brake or suppressor. Order this online from Cabelas.com and it ships for free to your local Cabela’s store.

2. Precision Reloading — Lapua Brass and Scenar Bullets Rebate

lapua brass sale rebate

SAVE 10% with Rebate Program for Lapua Brass and Bullets

Here is a great deal on great cartridge brass and bullets. Right now Lapua is offering a Lapua Summer Savings Rebate on cartridge brass and Scenar bullets. With this rebate, you can then save 10% on your purchases up to $200 max. Precision Reloading has a great selection of Lapua brass and bullets. Of course Lapua brass is the “choice of champions” and we have found the Scenars to be extremely consistent in weight and base-to-ogive measurements. The Lapua Rebate Program covers purchases through August 31, 2020. You can also buy from Midsouth Shooters and Grafs.com.

3. Palmetto State Armory — Rossi RS22 Rimfire Rifle, $109.99

Rossi rs22 RS 22 .22 LR training rifle Mossberg

Rossi rs22 RS 22 .22 LR training rifle MossbergReliable, with very impressive accuracy — awesome deal under $110!

Looking for a very affordable first rifle for a young family member? Here’s one of the best low-cost options you can find among .22 LR rimfire rigs. The Rossi RS22 is a reliable, semi-auto rifle that comes equipped with barrel-mounted iron/fiber optic sights. There are also dovetails on the receiver for mounting scope rings. The RS22 also takes most Mossberg 702 magazines. The Rossi RS22 features an 18″ free-floating barrel, adjustable fiber optic sights and a synthetic Monte Carlo stock. For added accuracy, 3/8″ dovetail mounts allow the mounting of a scope or other optic. Overall weight, without scope, is 4.1 pounds.

4. CDNN Sports — Browning Bucks Summer Rebates: $25 to $100

lapua brass sale rebate

Take advantage of Browning Bucks Rebates up to $100

Browning makes excellent rifles, shotguns, and pistols. The Browning Buckmark is one of our favorite .22 LR rimfire pistol, and Browning Citori shotguns are renown for their build quality and performance. Right now CDNN Sports is running special SALES on a wide selection of Browning Firearms. And now through the end of September, you can can Browning Bucks back — up to $100.00 on Citori shotguns. The rifle rebate is $50, while the pistol rebate is $25.00. Here’s a change to get major savings on quality guns.

5. Bruno Shooters Supply — Massive BAT Action Sale

bat action sale

Superb BAT custom actions, over 80 on sale at $100 Off

BAT actions have an amazing reputation and are available in more configurations that just about any other action on the market. Head over to Bruno Shooters Supply and choose from over 80 BAT Actions on sale. Many models are avaiable, all discounted $100 off Bruno’s normal pricing. This BAT promo gets you $100 closer to that elite custom rifle you’ve always wanted.

6. Midsouth — Rebel Master Reloading Kit, $304.99 w/ Rebate

Shooting Mat

Fine new press and all you need to reload — just add dies and components

The RCBS Rebel Master Reloading Kit features the new Rebel Press plus Uniflow III powder measure, pocket digital scale, hand priming trickler, powder funnel, fold-up hex key set, deburring tool, brush set, case loading block, spray lube, and a Speer Loading Manual. Midsouth’s Rebel Kit sale price is $379.99. But note — this Kit qualifies for a $75.00 RCBS rebate, lowering your net cost to $304.99 — a killer deal. The RCBS Summer Rebate provides $50 back with $100-$249.99 purchase; $75 back with $250-$399.99 purchase; and $100 back with a purchase of $400 or more.

7. Midsouth Shooters — Norma .22 LR Match Ammo, $65.65/500

lapua brass sale rebate

Great accuracy for the price; excellent for gun games and NRL22

Midsouth has 500-round bricks of Norma .22 LR 40gr Elite Match-22 ammo for $65.65 (just 13 cents a round). The Match-22 LR series is known to deliver great performance. Norma tests each lot of .22 LR ammunition and then when a particularly accurate batch is identified, Norma places them into the Match category. This Match-22 ammo was produced for biathlon and target competition. It also an excellent choice for NRL22 tactical rimfire matches. At just $6.56 for a 50-count box, this is a great deal.

8. MidwayUSA — Athlon 20-60x80mm Spotting Scope, $149.99

athlon spotting scope 20-60x80mm

Remarkable value with big 80mm front lens

If you’re looking for a decent, under-$300 spotting scope, check out this Athlon for $149.99 at MidwayUSA. That price, which includes a tripod, is 25% off the regular $199.99 price. No this won’t compete with a $1500 Kowa, but it offers solid performance for the price. A verified purchaser posted: “Great value for the money. For $150 I don’t think you can go wrong. I am also not going to be worried about dropping it or getting it dirty. I had looked at scopes in the $800 range and decided that for me, there just wasn’t another $700 of value with the other scopes”. Another owner posted: “A Swaro it ain’t. But for the price nothing I’ve ever seen even comes close to touching it. Good sharp optics and simple to use.”

9. Amazon — NcStar Vism Shooting Mat, $27.99

Shooting Mat

83% 5-Star Reviews, Easy Rolled-Up Transport, Decent Padding

Here’s a very good mat for just $27.99. This NcStar Vism shooting mat boast decent padding, and reinforced areas for elbows and knees. Full dimensions are: 69″ Long x 35″ Wide. This mat has straps for pre-loading your bipod. When you’re done simply fold in the edges, roll it up into a compact 19.50″ W x 8.50″ H package — the size of a sleeping bag. You can pay twice as much for a shooting mat and not get much more quality. This mat has earned 85% Five-Star buyer ratings on Amazon.

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August 10th, 2020

AR Platform Video Series from Brownells — Watch and Learn

Brownelss tech tip video AR15 ar platform rifle gunsmithing

Do you own or shoot an AR-platform “black rifle”? Then you know these rifles run dirty, and have some unusual maintenance requirements. On the other hand, the AR “Modern Sporting Rifle” is fun and versatile with a vast range of options among buttstocks, barrels, handguards, and grips. You can assemble a simple 16″ barrel .223 Rem rig for home defense, or build a long-barreled 6mm ARC rifle with bag-rider buttstock and high-magnification optic for long range target work. The choice is up to you.

To help with your black rifle journey, here are four helpful videos from Brownells. These will help ensure your AR rifle cycles reliably and runs longer, with reduced wear. Brownells also explains how to choose the optimal barrel twist rate. CLICK HERE to order AR parts, accessories, and ammo from Brownells.

AR Bolt/Bolt Carrier Lubrication — Smarter Methods

This video shows the proper way to lubricate an AR-15 bolt-carrier assembly. The video identifies the key metal-on-metal friction points where you actually need lubrication: the rails on the underside of the carrier, shiny wear points on top, and just a dab on the cam pin. How much oil/lubricant should you use? The AR-15 is pretty forgiving on that point. Some spots work best with grease, others work best with a lighter oil. Just keep it out of the combustion areas. Those little holes in the carrier are gas vent holes, NOT oil holes!

AR Barrel Twist Rates — What You Need to Know

AR barrels can be ordered with a variety of twist rates from 1:12″ to 1:7″. Basically, the longer/heavier the bullet you plan to shoot, the faster the twist rate you need. For example, Sierra recommends a 1:7″ twist rate for the 90gr SMK. A 1:12″ could work with the small lightweight bullets up to 55 grains. The 1:9″ barrel will stabilize the light and mid-weight bullets up to about 77 grains. We recommend a 1:8″ or 1:7″ twist rate for the best versatility. You’ll find a detailed discussion of AR twist rates on PewPewTactical.com.

Barrel Gas Block Alignment — Key to Reliable Cycling

In this Tech Tip, Brownells gun tech Steve Ostrem explains surefire methods to align your gas block. The most common problem with AR builds is poor cycling, commonly caused by misalignment between the gas block and the barrel’s gas port.

Setting Up Gas Tube Systems

This Tech Tip examines AR-platform gas systems, and shows how to select the proper length gas tube, and how to configure multiple tube systems if you change your barrel to different lengths. This is worth watching for anyone re-barreling an AR.

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Gunsmithing, Tactical Post comment »
August 10th, 2020

America’s Shooting Sports Heritage — NRA Perpetual Trophies

Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org
Stunners in silver. Above are the NRA Leech Cup (left) and Wimbledon Cup (right).

Shooting Sports USA has a fascinating article about the Perpetual Trophies awarded in national-level NRA matches. The story recounts the history behind the elaborate trophies, some from the 1870s. SSUSA’s Jennifer Pearsall writes: “The pieces of wood, stone and precious metal … are more than just instant recognition of achievement. They are the link of the American shooter’s present to his or her patriotic past. As you read this legacy of the NRA ranges, their founders, and the long list of cups, bowls, and plaques, realize that the history of competitive shooting is undeniably a significant part of the foundation of this country”. Read Full Trophy Story HERE.

The NRA was co-founded by Col. William Church and Gen. George Wood Wingate (ranked Captain at the time). Both Church and Wingate hoped to improved the marksmanship skills of American soldiers. One of the newly-formed NRA’s first actions was to issue: “An Act to Establish a Rifle Range and Promote Skill in Marksmanship”. That led to the opening of the famed Creedmoor Range, with a special inaugural match in June of 1873.

Many of the awards presented in the first NRA matches were cash or firearms. Some of these firearms were heavily embellished works of art. In the very first match, a member of the 22nd New York Regiment took home a gold-mounted Winchester Model 1866 valued at $100 — big money for the time.

Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org
In the 1870s shooting competitions were social as well as sporting events. Ladies and gentlemen came to watch and cheer the winners. This illustration, originally from Harpers Weekly, portrays the shooters and the viewing gallery at the 1876 Grand Centennial Championship—the “Palma” Match.

The Leech Cup — A Gift from Ireland
The Leech Cup was created for the first meeting of the American and Irish shooting teams. The elaborate cup was presented by Major Arthur Leech, captain of the the Irish team, to the Amateur Rifle Club of New York. This masterpiece of Irish silversmithing was later given to the NRA in 1901 by the New York Club. Today, the Leech Cup is the oldest trophy offered in overall NRA competitive target shooting, awarded through the National High Power Long Range Championships.

Michelle Gallagher with Leech Cup in 2013.
Leech Cup Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org

The Wimbledon Cup
The Wimbledon Trophy was a gift from the NRA of Great Britain. It was given, as a gesture of sportsmanship, after the the U.S. Team was denied the ability to compete in England’s Elcho Shield match, then limited to Britain, Scotland, and Ireland. To maintain friendly competitive relations, the British presented the Americans with a large, engraved, lion-footed tankard trophy to be awarded each year to the Champion U.S. long-distance rifleman.

Wimbledon Trophy Cup NRA SSUSA.org

Palma Trophy Facts Team Match National Camp Perry Tiffany'sThe Palma Team Trophy
Originally named the Centennial Trophy, in honor of the Centennial celebration of the independence of the United States of America, the Palma Trophy was commissioned from Tiffany’s at a cost of $1,500. The trophy was a full-sized replica of a Roman Legion standard, executed in bronze with silver and gold inlay. On the banner of the standard was the legend, “In the name of the United States of America to the Riflemen of the world”. Above the banner was an eagle, bearing in its talons a wreath of palm leaves and a plaque on which was the single word, “PALMA”, the Latin word for palm tree, which was used by the Romans to signify victory, or the ultimate in excellence.

Because the word Palma was so easily seen, the trophy soon became known as the “Palma Trophy”, and by 1878 was referred to officially by that name. The original seven and one-half foot trophy is now lost, having not been seen since at least 1954. Serving in its place is a copy which was commissioned by Dr. Herbert M. Aitken of Eau Claire, WI. The copy was made from the original Tiffany blue-prints at a cost of $32,500. Dr. Aitken has given this copy of the Palma Trophy to the NRA for use in the Palma Match. The trophy is retained by the winning team until the next Palma Match.

In 2008, the Palma Trophy was returned to the NRA, and it was decided that the trophy, once refurbished, will travel to the host nation for the match every four years, then returned to the NRA for safekeeping.

The first competition for the Palma Team was a challenge match for which the British Commonwealth nations were invited. The match was fired in 1876 at the old Creedmoor Range on Long Island as part of the Centennial celebration of the United States. Teams representing Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the United States took part. The match is currently fired on a four-year interval.

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August 9th, 2020

Sunday GunDay: Texas Precision — Mike’s 6mm GT Rifle

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

The 6mm GT (aka 6GT) cartridge was conceived as a “bigger Dasher” for PRS and NRL competition. The 6mm GT’s creators wanted 6mm Dasher accuracy and moderate recoil delivered via a cartridge with a slightly longer case body for better mag-feeding, longer neck for seating flexibility, and more moderate pressures. So far the 6GT has performed very well in PRS competition. Today’s story is a bit different — this is about an experiment — running a 6mm GT in an F-TR type rifle. Understand that, under current NRA rules, you may only shoot .223 Rem (5.56×45) or .308 Win (7.62×51), in official, sanctioned F-TR competition, but the 6GT is fine for F-Open. Mike McCasland wanted to see the potential of the cartridge for long-range target shooting, so he put a 6mm GT-chambered Bartlein barrel on a nice custom rifle with McMillan XIT stock and Kelbly F-Class Panda action. The results were impressive.

6mm GT — New Cartridge with Multi-Discipline Potential

Story by Mike McCasland, Texas Precision
The 6mm GT began garnering attention within PRS circles in early 2019. It promised to shoot 105-110gr 6mm bullets at 2950-3000 FPS, yet not suffer from mag-feed issues sometimes found with 6mmBR variants such as the 6 Dasher, 6BRX, and 6BRA. Moreover, since it burned less powder, the 6mm GT promised increased barrel life compared to the 6mm Creedmoor or 6XC. The 6mm GT case size should still work with the accurate powders in the Varget burn-range. I found the 6GT also worked great with H4350.

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-ClassAs someone who aspired to building a repeater and jumping into the PRS game, and had a spare F-TR rifle sitting around, I thought it would be fun to build up a 6mm GT to see if there was any merit to the hype. My smith, Wes Ripley of RIP Precision in Texas, builds a lot of PRS rigs, and already had the reamer on hand (a 0.120″ freebore variant).

Whidden Gunworks had some 6mm GT FL bushing die kits in stock, so I figured why not see what all the fuss was about? At the very least I could play around with the 6mm GT in F-Open Class at local club matches to see how it compared to the 6BRA, 6 Dasher, and other popular 6mm cartridges.

How the Project Got Started with Backup F-TR Rig
My 6mm GT build really started as a project spawned purely from COVID-19 Isolation boredom. This rifle primarily serves as a backup F-TR gun, and it had been relegated to performing some load development on .308 barrels, so I could spin new ones on my main match rifle. The only problem was, I had run out of .308 barrels that needed load development. So, I basically had an ideal test platform just collecting dust in the safe. All I needed was a 6mm GT-chambered barrel, since (like the 6mmBR) the 6mm GT works in a short action with a .308 Win-sized bolt-face.

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

6mm GT Rifle Specifications:

Action: Kelbly Panda F-Class SA RB/RP
Stock: McMillan XIT with RAD 2A
Barrel: 30″ 5R Bartlein 1:7.5″-Twist, HV Contour

Scope: Vortex Golden Eagle 15-60x52mm
Trigger: Jewell Benchrest, about 2 ounces
Bipod: Phoenix Precision

About the 6mm GT Cartridge

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-ClassBRASS — The first thing you’ll find is cartridge brass choices for the 6mmGT are rather limited currently. At present, the only commercial options are Hornady and Alpha Munitions. For the die-hard Lapua fans, you can technically make 6mm GT brass from 6.5×47 Lapua, however that process is very labor-intensive.

I have used both Hornady and Alpha brass in this rifle and haven’t noticed much difference between the two. I will say that my batch of Alpha brass was slightly softer than Alpha brass I’ve used in other calibers; you could feel a difference when neck turning cases. I’m unsure if that’s a batch issue, or something specific to their 6mm GT brass as a whole. As far as performance, there was little discernable difference. Oddly enough, the Hornady brass seemed to have slightly less case capacity than the Alpha; with most other cartridges it’s the other way around.

POWDERS — The 6mm GT was designed with Hodgdon Varget in mind, and that popular powder works exceedingly well in this platform. That said, the 6mm GT can work with a wide variety of powders, some yielding better performance than Varget.

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

I’ve tried a multitude of powders during my initial 6mm GT load development: Varget, Shooters World Precision, RL16, VV N140, H4350, and RL-15 to name a few. In my barrel, Hodgdon H4350 seems to deliver the best velocity/accuracy combination. SD and ES also seemed to be the lowest with H4350.

Load Development for the 6mm GT — Many Powders Tested
mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

BULLETS — The most common 0.120″ freebore chamber allows for the majority of high-BC 6mm projectiles found in both F-Class and PRS. I had good luck with the pointed 107gr Sierra Match Kings (SMK), as well as the 110gr Hornady A-Tips in my rifle. For those looking to run the heavier 112-115 grain 6mm offerings, I believe GAP designed a 0.160″ freebore reamer that gets those bullets out of the neck/shoulder junction. Shown below is the 0.120″ freebore JGS reamer print:

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-ClassSUMMARY — Good Cartridge with Much Potential
Generally speaking, I think the 6mm GT is a good little round. Some may not subscribe to this theory, but I believe some cartridges are inherently easier to tune than others. I’m not sure the 6mm GT is as easy-to-tune as a 6mmBR, 6 Dasher, or 6 BRA, but I don’t think it lags that far behind.

With relatively little trouble, I was able to find loads with both Varget and H4350 that would consistently shoot very well — 0.2 to 0.3 MOA. Moreover, I found the 6GT cartridge lives up to the velocity claims made by G.A. Precision. I was easily able to push the 110gr A-Tips to 2950 FPS, and the 107gr SMKs to low 3000 FPS range without any pressure signs, or unnecessary wear and tear on the brass.

As a fun test, I ran my 6mm GT rifle in a local 1000-yard F-Class match with the 110gr A-Tips, just to see just how well they would perform. Although wind conditions of the day and some E-Target issues prevented my 6mm GT rig from getting the better of the larger 7mm and .30-Cal rifles, the 6mm GT proved itself an accurate little round at distance. Here is a 1000-yard ShotMarker target:

mike mccasland 6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass 6BRA PRS F-Class

After putting several hundred rounds through my 6mm GT rifle, I anticipate building another 6GT on a repeater action to give PRS a try. I think if you are looking for a dual-purpose rifle that can run tactical matches (with 100% feeding reliability), and can also be used for mid-range, F-Open Class competition, the 6mm GT would be a very good option.

About the author, Mike McCasland:
Mike McCasland is an avid shooter who competes regularly in F-Class matches. Based in Texas, Mike is the creator of the Texas Precision YouTube Channel. There you’ll find many videos covering reloading, gun projects, and marksmanship. Mike has done some notable product reviews including a comparison test of Micrometer Competition Seating Dies. To access Mike’s YouTube Channel, CLICK HERE.

6mmGT 6 GT alpha brass mike mccasland PRS F-TR

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August 9th, 2020

Mac McMillan’s Legendary .009″ Group — Lookee Here

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa.009” Group Record Stood for 40 Years
In 1973 Mac McMillan shot an amazing 100-yard, .009″ five-shot group in a benchrest match. The .009″ group was measured with a 60x microscope for verification. Mac McMillan shot the group using a handbuilt prototype McMillan rifle with an early McMillan stock.

Mac’s .009″ group was the “Holy Grail” of rifle accuracy. This .009″ record was considered by many to be unbreakable, a record that would “stand for all time”. Well, it took 40 years, but someone finally broke Mac’s record with an even smaller group. In 2013, Mike Stinnett shot a .0077″ five-shot group using a 30 Stewart, a .30 caliber wildcat based on the 6.5 Grendel. Stinnett’s NBRSA record .0077″ group now stands as the smallest 100-yard group ever shot in registered benchrest competition.*

Read About .0077″ group HERE.

Stinnett’s success doesn’t diminish the significance of Mac McMillan’s .009″ group in the history of benchrest competition. For four decades Mac’s group stood as the ultimate standard of rifle accuracy*. For those of you who have never seen Mac McMillan’s .009″ group, here it is, along with the NBRSA World Record certificate. The target now hangs in the McMillan Family Museum.

Mac McMillan .009 benchrest record group nbrsa

*Somebody else might claim a smaller group, but unless moving backers or electronic targets were used, it cannot be verified. Moving target backers are used at registered benchrest matches to ensure that five (5) shots are actually fired in each group. That eliminates any doubt.

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Competition, Shooting Skills 6 Comments »
August 9th, 2020

Will Carbon Build-Up Inside Cases Raise Load Pressure?

Carbon fouling case cartridge interior Pressure volume ultrasonic

As a cartridge case is reloaded multiple times, burnt powder residue and carbon builds up on the inside of the case. Unless the case interior is cleaned in some fashion, eventually you’ll see a slight reduction in case capacity. One of our Forum members from Australia wonders about the effects of reduced case capacity: “If the capacity of the case decreases as the crud builds up, then it effectively reduces the size of the cartridge (inside). Wouldn’t that change the pressure produced from that of an equivalent clean case?”

Interesting Test of Case Capacity Changes
Forum member Fred Bohl has actual test results that can help answer the above question. Fred proved that, over a 20-reload cycle, the case capacity of uncleaned cases did decline a small amount. However, surprisingly, this did not seem to affect the actual chronographed velocity of the load. Extreme Spread (ES) did increase, but Fred believes the higher ES was due to changes in case-neck tension, rather than due to the slight reduction in case capacity. Fred reports:

“Back when beginning to use ultrasonic case cleaning, part of the motivation was to get the inside clean based on the assumption that allowing burnt residue to build up inside cases would affect capacity, and, ultimately, performance. An experiment was done to test this hypothesis. The load used, 30.5 grains of RL15 behind 107gr SMKs in a 6mmBR, was selected for best group and lowest ES in prior load development. It turned out to be 92% of initial case capacity and neither “full” or compressed. (I would suspect that different powders, load weight, and total case capacity might produce very different results.)

We took 30 cases of identical initial capacity and tracked three lots of 10 each:

LOT 1: No Internal cleaning
LOT 2: Cleaned with media in tumbler
LOT 3: Cleaned with Ultrasound machine

Each case (in each lot) was shot and reloaded 20 times. The simplified results after 20 reloads of each lot were as follows:

Lot 1 (not cleaned) – 0.3 to 0.4 gr. loss of capacity, 5 to 8 fps greater ES.
Lot 2 (tumble cleaned) – 0.1 to 0.3 gr. loss of capacity, 4 to 6 fps greater ES.
Lot 3 (ultrasonic cleaned) – no loss of capacity, no detectable change in ES.

FINDINGS
There was no detectable correlation of velocity change to the lots. An oddity was that on very hot days Lot 1 velocities were, occasionally, slightly higher. From results of another ongoing test, I believe the above differences in ES are probably due more to variance in bullet grip tension than case capacity. The ultrasound cleaned cases (LOT 3) did maintain the lowest ES, but we are not 100% sure of the reasons why. More consistent bullet seating might be the reason.”

Carbon fouling case cartridge interior Pressure volume ultrasonic

Editor’s NOTE: Fred’s results do suggest that carbon build-up inside the uncleaned cases might cause a slight increase in pressure that shows up on hot days. Fred has posted that: “A local shooter reported doing the 20 reload, no-clean test on a .308 that gave a loss of capacity of 2.0 grains, doubled ES and significant velocity changes. However, I don’t have any details on his load weight or powder.” Obviously a lot of carbon can build up with 20 reloads. Many shooters retire their brass before then.

Ultrasonic Cleaning and Neck Lube
Some time ago, Jason Baney did a lengthy test on ultrasonic cleaning. Jason found that with his ultrasonically-cleaned cases, the inside of the necks got so “squeaky clean” that he needed to use dry lube in the necks. Jason uses the $10.95 dry lube kit from Neconos.com. This applies ultra-fine Moly powder to the neck using small carbon steel balls.

Neconos.com moly neck lube

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Reloading, Tech Tip 3 Comments »
August 8th, 2020

New Rodzilla 5-Axis Top for SEB Rests — Superb Functionality

Rod Brakhage Rodzilla SEB Rest Neo Max Mini 5-axis top new field test review F-Class John

Rodzilla 5-Axis Top for SEB Rests

Review by F-Class John
Walk the line at any F-Class or Benchrest match and you’ll see plenty of SEB rests — for good reason. SEB produces some of the most popular competition shooting rests available today. With their ease of use and smart design, it is no wonder why SEB rests are so popular. But as good as they are, there are ways SEB rests can be made even better — such as making them easier to align precisely to the target during set-up. It was while shooting with his SEB NEO one day that inventor, fabricator, and competitive F-Class shooter Rod Brakhage decided to make a better mouse trap — to improve the SEB series of rests. He identified aspects of the NEO/MAX rests and SEB Mini tripod rest that could be enhanced and he then set out to improve their already great performance.

Rod Brakhage Rodzilla SEB Rest Neo Max Mini 5-axis top new field test review F-Class John
This photo shows the new Rodzilla 5-Axis top installed on a SEB Mini tripod rest. There are also Rodzilla tops for the SEB NEO and MAX two-column front rests.

Nearly a year and countless prototypes later, Rod unveiled his new Rodzilla 5-Axis Top to a select group of shooters to test and it’s been a wild ride ever since. Best of all, his top is drilled and tapped so that it can be fitted to a SEB NEO, MAX, or Mini front rest without altering the rest base in any way. To make things easy, if you don’t want to install it yourself, you can send just the bridge from your NEO/MAX or top from a Mini and Rod will install the 5-Axis unit. You pay for the Rodzilla top, and Rod will install it for free. The Rodzilla NE0/MAX tops currently sell for $549.00, while the Rodzilla Mini top is $584.00.

Watch Video to See All Features of Rodzilla 5-Axis Rest Top:

Rodzilla Top Swivels Independently of Rest Base
The first thing Rod did was allow the top to swivel independently of the base. On a NEO this makes a HUGE difference because you can now set your rest down in the general direction of your target and make final adjustments once you’re down behind the gun. This is a huge departure from the normal procedure where you find yourself moving your NEO repeatedly until it’s just right. You can do the same thing on a Mini which is actually a nice feature despite the head already swiveling because you can now lock down the Mini head and make your final adjustments behind the gun as well. This is probably the feature that stood out the most to me when I first set it up. Being able to lock the front end down and get comfortable immediately behind the gun without having to get up again was a time-saver. This also left me feeling very confident in my gun alignment to the target.

Rod Brakhage Rodzilla SEB Rest Neo Max Mini 5-axis top new field test review F-Class John

Delrin Rollers on Side Guide Stock during Recoil
The second major innovation is the addition of Delrin rollers along the side. The unit has two easily adjustable jaws that each contain a set of rollers. These rollers allow for as much or little contact as you want along the sides of your stock and provide a smooth if not near frictionless experience whether during recoil (breakaway) or when returning the gun to battery. the departure from traditional sandbags on the side quite revolutionary, and yes it is legal under NRA rules. Current NRA High Power F-Class rules have no limits on what material contacts the sides of the stock. As someone who has owned a number of front rests and filled countless small sandbags this comes as a welcome relief! The Rodzilla’s rollers give me confidence that I’ll have consistent contact with the stock without the side bags constantly shifting and needing my attention during a match.

Rod Brakhage Rodzilla SEB Rest Neo Max Mini 5-axis top new field test review F-Class John

Small, Separate Sandbags Provide Consistent Contact at Any Gun Angle
Another major Rodzilla advancement is the design of the left and right sandbags. Conventional sandbags are stationary and oriented to the rest itself meaning that if you’re shooting uphill or downhill then you may not have stock contact with the full bag surface or the stock may be at a weird angle to the sandbag. Plus, with time, conventional front sand bags can form crowns or lumps that require attention. Those problems are solved with the Rodzilla’s tilting mini-sandbags. Rod’s sandbags are very small yet still meet NRA High Power guidelines as they are filled with sand and can be visibly deformed when pushed. But otherwise, they are unlike anything you’ve seen before. Each bag is mounted on a pivoting arm allowing the gun to always keep consistent contact with each bag regardless of the angle of your rest. This provides confidence that your stock is always riding on the same amount of sandbag no matter how the rest has been placed, or the ground angle relative to target.

Rod Brakhage Rodzilla SEB Rest Neo Max Mini 5-axis top new field test review F-Class John

CONCLUSION: The Rodzilla 5-Axis Top is a Game-Changer
If you have a SEB Rest you will definitely want this…
The innovative design features of the Rodzilla 5-Axis Top make SEB rests work even better. The Rodzilla Top delivers an incredibly smooth and repeatable shooting experience. Recoil seems smoother, and it is easier to align the rest on target during set-up. If you own a SEB rest and are looking to make your set-up on the line easier and faster, have near-zero breakaway force on each shot, and have consistent follow-up shots to your point of aim, then give the Rodzilla 5-Axis Top a try.

This Video shows how to install the Rodzilla 5-Axis Top on SEB Mini tripod rest:

This Video shows how to install the Rodzilla 5-Axis Top on SEB NEO or MAX Rest

Permalink - Articles, - Videos, Gear Review, New Product 2 Comments »
August 8th, 2020

Watch Ammo Being Made in Revealing Video

Sellier Bellot Ammunition Videos

Sellier & Bellot is one of Europe’s older ammunition manufacturers, producing a wide variety of rifle and pistol ammo. The video below shows ammunition being made from start to finish, starting with raw materials. This is a fascinating video that is well worth watching. It shows some amazing machines in operation.

EDITOR: Guys, this really is an exceptional video that shows every aspect of production. I have watched dozens of videos about ammo making. This is definitely one of the BEST. Take the time to watch.

Based in Vlasim, Czech Republic, Sellier & Bellot was founded in August 5, 1825 by Louis Sellier, a German businessman of French lineage. His family were royalists who fled France during the French Revolution. Louis Sellier began manufacturing percussion caps for infantry firearms in a factory in Prague, Bohemia on the request of Francis I, the Emperor of Austria. Sellier was later joined by his countryman Jean Bellot.

Sellier & Bellot has also produced an interesting CGI video that shows what happens inside a rifle chamber and barrel when a cartridge fires can’t be seen by the naked eye (unless you are a Super-Hero with X-Ray vision). But now, with the help of 3D-style computer animation, you can see every stage in the process of a rifle round being fired.

3D animation bullet ammunition in rifle

In this X-Ray-style 3D animation illustrates the primer igniting, the propellant burning, and the bullet moving through the barrel. The video then shows how the bullet spins as it flies along its trajectory. Finally, this animation shows the bullet impacting ballistic gelatin. Watch the bullet mushroom and deform as it creates a “wound channel” in the gelatin.

Watch Video – Cartridge Ignition Sequence Starts at 1:45 Time-Mark

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August 8th, 2020

Smith & Wesson Separates from Accessory Brands Group

American Outdoor Brands Smith Wesson spin-off industry

This month American Outdoor Brands Corporation (NASDAQ: AOBC) will officially split into two separate companies, with the Smith & Wesson gun business becoming a stand-alone enterprise again. This action will create two independent, publicly-traded companies: Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. (encompassing the firearm business) and American Outdoor Brands, Inc. (encompassing the outdoor products and accessories business). AOBC’s board of directors previously approved the separation of its outdoor products and accessories business into an independent, publicly-traded company.

Smith & Wesson Brands will effect the separation through a spin-off whereby it will distribute 100 percent of the shares of American Outdoor Brands common stock to Smith & Wesson Brands’ stockholders of record as of the close of business on the record date of August 10, 2020 on a pro rata basis. The distribution of American Outdoor Brands’ shares is expected to be completed effective as of 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on August 24, 2020, with Smith & Wesson Brands stockholders receiving one share of American Outdoor Brands common stock for every four shares of Smith & Wesson Brands stock.

Following the spin-off, American Outdoor Brands will be a separate publicly-traded company independent from Smith & Wesson Brands. Smith & Wesson Brands will not retain any American Outdoor Brands common stock. Smith & Wesson Brands will continue to be listed on NASDAQ under the symbol SWBI. American Outdoor Brands has received approval for the listing of its common stock on NASDAQ under the symbol AOUT.

Background of the American Outdoor Brands Conglomerate
In August 2016, Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation bought Crimson Trace, a laser-sight manufacturer, for $95 million and Taylor Brands, a tool and knife maker, for $85 million. In November of that same year, the company bought UST Brands, a survival equipment maker, for $32.3 million. And Smith & Wesson acquired Battenfeld Technologies in 2015 for $130.3 million. Smith & Wesson diversified from firearms into sporting goods and accessories in hopes of insulating Smith & Wesson from the stock price volatility caused by the unpredictability of the gun business. This culminated in the decision to change the company’s name to American Outdoor Brands Corporation. However, despite the diversification, in 2017, firearms still accounted for 86% of American Outdoor Brands’s revenues.

Post-Spinoff Brand Line-Ups for SWBI and AOUT
Smith & Wesson Brands (SWBI) will now become firearm-centric, selling guns under the Smith & Wesson, M&P, Thompson/Center, and Performance Center brands. In addition, we believe SWBI will continue to make and sell Gemtech suppressors.

American Outdoor Brands markets a large number of product brands, including Bog (bipods/tripods), Caldwell (shooting accessories), Crimson Trace (weapons lights), Frankford Arsenal (reloading tools). Listed below are the product lines American Outdoor Brands Inc. will continue to sell as the new, separate AOUT company. A significant percentage of these brands remain gun-centric:

Bog — Manufactures tripods and shooting rests
Caldwell — Manufactures targets and shooting rests
Crimson Trace — Flashlight, Weapon light, and aiming device manufacturer
Frankford Arsenal — Manufactures reloading tools
Golden Rod — Manufactures dehumidifiers and moisture sensors for safes and lock boxes
Hooyman — Manufactures Landscaping tools and portable power saws
Imperial — Manufactures fixed and folding blade knives
Lockdown — Manufactures gun safes, lock boxes, gun locks, and accessories
M&P Accessories — Manufactures firearm accessories
Old Timer — Manufactures fixed and folding blade knives as well as accessories
Schrade — Manufactures fixed and folding blade knives as well as accessories
Tipton — Manufactures firearm cleaning accessories
Uncle Henry — Manufactures fixed and folding blade knives as well as accessories
Wheeler Engineering — Manufactures gunsmithing tools
Bubba — Manufactures knives, tools, and accessories for fishing

* Smith & Wesson Accessories — Manufactures firearm accessories
* Thompson/Center Accessories — Manufactures firearm accessories

Mark Smith Will Lead Smith & Wesson After Spin-Off
Upon successful completion of the spin-off, Mark Smith will become CEO of Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc.; Smith is currently the President of the Manufacturing Services Division of AOBC and supports all of its businesses. James Debney, current AOBC President and CEO, will lead the outdoor products and accessories company as CEO after the spin-off.

The Future of Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. (Projections)
Headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts, Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. will continue its 168-year-old heritage of producing firearms (S&W was founded in 1852). This business’s handgun, long gun, and suppressor products are marketed under the Smith & Wesson®, M&P®, Performance Center®, Thompson/Center Arms™, and Gemtech® brands. Following the spin-off this month, Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. is expected to generate revenue between $450 million and $500 million and adjusted EBITDAS between $90 million and $105 million in its first 12 months as an independent company.

* It is not clear whether Smith & Wesson Accessories and Thompson Center Accessories will be marketed under the same name after American Outdoor brands splits into two publicly-traded companies.

Permalink Handguns, News Post comment »
August 7th, 2020

New York Sues NRA — Seeks to “Dissolve” the Organization

NRA New York lawsuit Letitia James atty. General wayne lapierre

The state of New York, through NY Atty. General Letitia James, has filed suit against the NRA attacking actions by its leadership, claiming that funds were spent improperly. The purpose of the suit, said James, is “to dissolve the organization in its entirety”. This lawsuit originates from New York because the NRA is a New York-chartered organization. In a coordinated legal action, likewise motivated by partisan politics, District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine brought suit against the NRA Foundation, claiming the Foundation gave money to the NRA without proper oversight.

About the New York Lawsuit: The NY suit claims NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, Wilson “Woody” Phillips (former NRA treasurer/CFO), Joshua Powell (former chief of staff) and John Frazer (corporate secretary/general counsel) diverted tens of millions of dollars for their personal benefit and enrichment. NY alleges that the “The NRA was serving as a personal piggy bank” for these four men.

About the DC Lawsuit: “Key to the D.C. complaint are a pair of $5 million loans in 2017 and 2018 from the Foundation to the Association. In addition to those loans, the suit alleges the Foundation paid millions in fees to the NRA with no oversight, essentially placing the NRA’s interests above its own. That is a violation of the Foundation’s articles of incorporation.” Source: The Shooting Wire, 8/7/2020.

The NRA Responds — And Files Suit for First Amendment Violations
LaPierre stated that the action by New York is “an unconstitutional, premeditated attack aiming to dismantle and destroy the NRA”. Immediately the NRA began to fight back, filing a countersuit on 8/6/2020 stated that the NY AG’s lawsuit has violated the NRA’s First Amendment rights. NRA President Carolyn Meadows called the NY lawsuit a “baseless, premeditated attack on our organization and the Second Amendment freedoms it fights to defend”.

NRA New York District Columbia lawsuit Wayne LaPierre
Lawsuits filed against the NRA will be the major issue at the NRA Annual Meeting next month.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation issued a statement condemning the NY Atty. General’s politically-motivated scheme to dissolve the NRA:

NRA New York lawsuit Letitia James atty. General wayne lapierre“NSSF, the trade association for the firearm industry, is troubled by the politically-driven decision of New York Attorney General Letitia James to seek to dissolve the National Rifle Association, America’s oldest civil rights organization.

The lawsuit filed today by Attorney General James seeks to punish the over five million members of the National Rifle Association based on mere allegations of possible wrongdoing by a few individuals.

NSSF is deeply concerned about the apparent political agenda to silence the strongest voice in support of the Second Amendment ahead of the election in November.

This lawsuit, and one filed today by the District of Columbia Attorney General, should concern all Americans who cherish both the First and Second Amendments to our Constitution regardless of their views on what laws and regulations are appropriate to address the criminal misuse of firearms.”

Permalink - Articles, News 6 Comments »
August 7th, 2020

How to Verify Your Scope’s True Click Values — Box Test

Click Optics MOA turrent verification test

Let’s say you’ve purchased a new scope, and the spec-sheet indicates it is calibrated for quarter-MOA clicks. One MOA is 1.047″ inches at 100 yards, so you figure that’s how far your point of impact (POI) will move with four clicks. Well, unfortunately, you may be wrong. You can’t necessarily rely on what the manufacturer says. Production tolerances being what they are, you should test your scope to determine how much movement it actually delivers with each click of the turret. It may move a quarter-MOA, or maybe a quarter-inch, or maybe something else entirely. (Likewise scopes advertised as having 1/8-MOA clicks may deliver more or less than 1 actual MOA for 8 clicks.)

Nightforce scope turretReader Lindy explains how to check your clicks: “First, make sure the rifle is not loaded. Take a 40″ or longer carpenter’s ruler, and put a very visible mark (such as the center of an orange Shoot’N’C dot), at 37.7 inches. (On mine, I placed two dots side by side every 5 inches, so I could quickly count the dots.) Mount the ruler vertically (zero at top) exactly 100 yards away, carefully measured.

Place the rifle in a good hold on sandbags or other rest. With your hundred-yard zero on the rifle, using max magnification, carefully aim your center crosshairs at the top of the ruler (zero end-point). Have an assistant crank on 36 (indicated) MOA (i.e. 144 clicks), being careful not to move the rifle. (You really do need a helper, it’s very difficult to keep the rifle motionless if you crank the knobs yourself.) With each click, the reticle will move a bit down toward the bottom of the ruler. Note where the center crosshairs rest when your helper is done clicking. If the scope is accurately calibrated, it should be right at that 37.7 inch mark. If not, record where 144 clicks puts you on the ruler, to figure out what your actual click value is. (Repeat this several times as necessary, to get a “rock-solid”, repeatable value.) You now know, for that scope, how much each click actually moves the reticle at 100 yards–and, of course, that will scale proportionally at longer distances. This optical method is better than shooting, because you don’t have the uncertainly associated with determining a group center.

Using this method, I discovered that my Leupold 6.5-20X50 M1 has click values that are calibrated in what I called ‘Shooter’s MOA’, rather than true MOA. That is to say, 4 clicks moved POI 1.000″, rather than 1.047″ (true MOA). That’s about a 5% error.

I’ve tested bunches of scopes, and lots have click values which are significantly off what the manufacturer has advertised. You can’t rely on printed specifications–each scope is different. Until you check your particular scope, you can’t be sure how much it really moves with each click.

I’ve found the true click value varies not only by manufacturer, but by model and individual unit. My Leupold 3.5-10 M3LR was dead on. So was my U.S.O. SN-3 with an H25 reticle, but other SN-3s have been off, and so is my Leupold 6.5-20X50M1. So, check ‘em all, is my policy.”

click values scope Mrad moa scope test

From the Expert: “…Very good and important article, especially from a ballistics point of view. If a ballistics program predicts 30 MOA of drop at 1000 yards for example, and you dial 30 MOA on your scope and hit high or low, it’s easy to begin questioning BCs, MVs, and everything else under the sun. In my experience, more than 50% of the time error in trajectory prediction at long range is actually scope adjustment error. For serious long range shooting, the test described in this article is a MUST!” — Bryan Litz, Applied Ballistics LLC.

Bryan also uses a Tall Target Test to determine true click values. CLICK HERE to read a detailed, explanatory article about Litz’s Tall Target Test.

Permalink - Articles, Optics, Shooting Skills 1 Comment »
August 7th, 2020

Save Money This Summer with Brownells Discount Codes

Brownells discount code savings bargain

If you’ve been thinking about a big purchase at Brownells, here are some money-saving codes. Now through the end of August, Brownells is offering $50 Off a $500+ purchase or $25 Off a $250+ purchase. That’s a great deal, effectively a 10% savings. Use Code VTH to save $50 on $500+, or use Code VTG to save $25 on the purchase of $250 or more.

Brownells discount code savings bargain

Coupon Code: VTH — $50 Off $500 or more
Expiration date: August 31, 2020 at 11:59 PM CDT

Coupon Code: MFX — $25 Off $250 or more
Expiration date: August 31, 2020 at 11:59 PM CDT

More Brownells Discount Codes

If you miss these deals listed above, Brownells is still running some discounts for $99-$200 purchases. With a purchase of $200 and up, save $20 with Code M8Y. Or, with a purchase of $99 or more, you can save $10 with Code MDX. You can also get free Shipping/Handling for all purchases over $49 with Code VB5. That free shipping/handling could save you another $10-$20 easy. NOTE: These codes have no listed expiration date, but Brownells could terminate them at any time, so you should still act soon.

Coupon Code: M8Y — $20 off $200 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Coupon Code: NCS — $15 off $150 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

If that doesn’t work, try this one (no free shipping):
Coupon Code: TAG — $15 Off $150
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: NBM — $10 OFF $99 + Free S/H
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

If that doesn’t work, try this one (no free shipping):
Coupon Code: PTT — $10 Off $100
Expiration date: Unknown

Coupon Code: VB5 — Free S/H Over $49
Expiration date: Unknown expiration

Permalink Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Handguns, Hot Deals, News Post comment »
August 6th, 2020

Hot Rod Ruger — Customized Purple RPR in 6.5 Creedmoor

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod
Check out that bolt assembly. It features a fluted stainless bolt body, laser-engraved Titanium shroud, and Titanium dragon-scale bolt knob with polished stainless handle.

You haven’t seen a Ruger Precision Rifle (RPR) like this before. Forum member TerryH has customized his Second-Gen 6.5 Creedmoor RPR with a wicked purple finish, snazzy stainless/titanium bolt, and slick HDPE (polymer) bag-riders front and rear. The mods on this Hot Rod Ruger don’t stop there. Terry added a Seekins hand rail, Timney trigger, ergonomic grip, and more…

For his Hot Rod Ruger, Terry has the right skill set, learned on the job: “I work in a body shop and have pretty much custom-painted all my stuff for many years. For this 6.5 CM RPR, colors of choice are House of Kolor PBC-65 Passion Purple and black covered with Cerakote MC-161 matte clear.” Terry even painted his Bald Eagle rest purple to match his Hot Rod RPR.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Terry reports: “I’m shooting an RPR in 6.5 CM. It has a Patriot Valley Arms 26″ barrel. Josh at PVA is making a thread protector for me so I can remove the Mad Scientist brake. The butt stock has a V-Tab adjustable butt plate and Wiebad check rest pad. Glass is a currently a Vortex Gen I PST 6-24x50mm but I have a Golden Eagle on layaway”. To learn more about this rifle or ask TerryH questions about the build, visit this Shooters’ FORUM THREAD.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Ruger Precision Rifle Modifications:
Chassis and Handguards Painted Passion Purple
Patriot Valley Arms 26″ Barrel with Brake
Timney Trigger with Ambi Safety
Custom HDPE (Polymer) Bag-Riders front and Rear
V-Tab adjustable butt plate and Wiebad cheek-pad
Seekins Rail

Good Accuracy with Factory Ammunition
Terry reports: “The RPR is shooting .3 MOA @ 100 with factory Fed American Eagle 140s.” Terry plans to start handloading for the rifle with the goal of shooting F-Class matches next year: “I’ve successfully shot steel out to 1140 yards on the range but [I don’t know] if that will actually translate well in a match. I’m committed to practicing as much as I can and starting to shoot some matches in 2018.”

Front and Rear Bag-Riders with Protektor Rear Bag and Upgraded Bald Eagle Rest
Terry has engineered a slick set-up for F-Open competition and load testing. Up front is a Bald Eagle rest upgraded with windage knob mod, stainless F-Class feet, and longer adjusters. Terry also “changed the hardware to all stainless and added a couple of levels”. In the rear, Terry runs a Protektor Doctor rear bag with 1″ ear spacing.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Impressive additions are the custom HDPE bag-riders Terry crafted himself: “I realized that the butt stock wasn’t going to cut it on the rear bag and even though I got the 2 1/4″ front bag and the Seekins rail is 2″ wide and flat that it wasn’t as stable or smooth as I’d like.” So Terry made his own front and rear bag-riders from HDPE, a material similar to Delrin. Currently the front unit is 2.25″ wide, but Terry will be changing that to a 3″-wide front sled: “I decided that I’d get a 3″-wide front bag and mill a new front bag-rider. I’m going to recess the center to fit around the hand guard and I’ll mill a recess on the bottom of that one.”

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Shown below is the Hot Rod Ruger before Terry added the HPDE Bag-Riders front and rear. Terry says the rifle now handles much better with the bag riders, and he plans to upsize the front sled to 3″ width.

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Bling’s the Thing. Below is the Hot Rod Ruger’s bolt assembly. It features a custom flat-fluted bolt shaft, laser-engraved Titanium shroud and Titanium dragon-scale knob with polished stainless handle. Terry confesses: “I simply can’t resist anything shiny!”

Ruger Precision Rifle 6.5 Creedmoor Purple Hot Rod

Permalink - Articles, Competition, Gear Review, Tech Tip Post comment »
August 6th, 2020

Guns and Ammo in Aftermath of Floods — What to Do

NSSF SAAMI flood flooding submersion water Ammunition Ammo damage
NOAA photo of flooding after Hurricane Floyd in 1999. The Colt Python Revolver once belonged to Elvis Presley (Rock Island Auction).

This past week, Tropical Storm Isaias has hammered the East Coast of the USA. The BBC reported: “From North Carolina up to New York, Isaias left more than 3.4 million residents without power. It spawned tornadoes, uprooted trees, damaged homes and caused floods and fires.” This article explains what to do if you have experienced flooding.

Firearms owners who have seen their guns and stored ammunition submerged by flood waters in storm-wracked areas are probably wondering if their firearms and ammunition can be salvaged and safely used. To answer these questions, the NSSF and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI®) created two documents outlining the proper response to submersion of guns and ammo. If you’ve got wet guns and/or ammo, download these two PDF files and read them carefully.

SAAMI Guidance 1: What to Do About Firearms That Have Been Submerged in Water

SAAMI Guidance 2: What to Do About Ammunition That Has Been Submerged in Water

Dealing with Firearms That Were Submerged

The SAAMI document “Guidance on Firearms That Have Been Submerged or Exposed to Extensive Amounts of Water” points out two major concerns about firearms that have been exposed to water: parts susceptible to moisture and rust damage such as metal parts, wood stocks and grips, and optics; and, secondly, infiltration of the action, barrel and safety systems by grit, silt and other foreign debris.

#1 Always unload firearms before beginning any treatment process.

It’s important to limit moisture and corrosion damage to the component parts of the firearm. This can be accomplished by disassembling the component parts and using up to two coats of a moisture-displacing lubricant such as Hoppes #9 MDL or WD-40 to clean and stabilize the parts while, importantly, following the product’s directions so as not to damage, for instance, plastic or synthetic parts. Another tip is to allow wood stocks and grips to air-dry and not be force dried by exposure to heat.

The document emphasizes that once the firearm has been thoroughly dried, consideration must be given to having the firearm inspected and serviced by the manufacturer, an authorized service center, or a qualified gunsmith before putting the firearm back in service.

Dealing with Ammunition That Was Submerged

NSSF SAAMI flood flooding submersion water Ammunition Ammo damage

Bottom Line, if your ammo has been submerged — DON’T USE IT. SAAMI explains why…

To help firearms owners determine what to do with ammunition that has been affected by water and moisture, SAAMI offers another helpful document, “Guidance on Ammunition That Has Been Submerged in Water.” This document covers differences in moisture resistance between centerfire, rimfire and shotshell ammunition, and potential hazards associated with “drying out” cartridges, including possible deterioration and damage to cartridges due to drying methods.

Another serious hazard that could result from using compromised ammunition is the potential for a bore obstruction due to partial ignition of either the priming compound or the propellant powder charge, or both. Firing a subsequent round through an obstructed barrel can result in bodily injury, death and property damage.

SAAMI provides the following cautionary conclusion: “It would be impossible to ascertain for certain the extent of the deteriorating affect, if any, the water may have had on each individual cartridge. Therefore, the safe answer is that no attempt be made to salvage or use submerged ammunition. The ammunition should be disposed of in a safe and responsible manner. Contact your local law enforcement agency for disposal instructions in your area.”

Permalink - Articles, Bullets, Brass, Ammo, Tech Tip 1 Comment »
August 6th, 2020

Hornady Video Shows How Ammunition is Made

Hornady Manufacturing

Hornady ManufacturingIf you wonder how ammo is made, starting with raw metal, check out this video from Hornady. It shows how bullet jackets are formed from copper, followed by insertion of a lead core. The jacket is then closed up over the core with the bullet taking its final shape in a die (a cannelure is applied on some bullet types). Next the video shows how cartridge brass is formed, starting with small cups of brass. The last part of the video shows how cases are primed and filled with powder, and how bullets are seated into the cases, using an automated process on a giant assembly-line. CLICK Link below to watch video:

Hornady’s New 150,000-sq-ft Ammo Production Center
In 2018, Hornady opened a new, state-of-the-art factory. The 150,000-sq-ft Hornady West Facility, featured in the video below, handles ammunition production and product distribution — Hornady produces millions of rounds annually. Hornady cartridge brass and bullets will continue to be produced at Hornady’s 100,000+ square foot factory in Grand Island, Nebraska. The Grand Island factory is open for tours Monday through Thursday. Hornady Manufacturing was founded by Joyce Hornady in 1949, so 2019 marked the company’s 70th anniversary.

Permalink - Videos, Bullets, Brass, Ammo 2 Comments »
August 5th, 2020

Primers 101 — What You Need to Know About Primers

Glen Zediker reloaders corner midsouth book AR-15 reloading  brass safety primer resizing

Here is an article Glen Zediker wrote for the Midsouth Blog. In this article Glen gives important advice on selecting, handling, seating, and testing primers. The right primer choice can and will affect your load’s performance and accuracy. And proper primer handling is essential for safety.

Glen is the author of many excellent books on reloading. This article is adapted from Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth HERE. For more information about other books by Glen, visit ZedikerPublishing.com.

Handloading for Competition
by Glen Zediker

The Competitive AR-15
by Glen Zediker

Top-Grade Ammo
by Glen Zediker

RELOADERS CORNER: PRIMER TECH

by Glen Zediker
The primer is one component in the collection that might not get all the attention it warrants. That’s because it is the one thing, above all other components, that you don’t want to just swap and switch around. We’ve all heard cautions about testing new lots of every component, especially propellant, but primers not only change lot to lot, they vary greatly in their influence on any one load, brand to brand.

The difference in one brand to the next can equal a good deal more or less pressure, for instance. While there are “general” tendencies respecting the “power” of various-brand primers, always (always) reduce the load (propellant quantity) when switching primers.

This has become more of an issue over the past few years as we’ve faced component shortages. I can tell you without a doubt that going from a WW to a CCI, or from a Remington to a Federal, can have a major influence on a load. I establish that from chronograph readings. No doubt, it’s best to have a good supply of one primer brand and lot that produces good results, and when that’s not possible, it’s a hard sell to convince someone to stop loading ammo and get back to testing. But. It is important. I can tell you that from (bad) experience. How I, and we all, learn most things…

When I switch primers, whether as a test or a necessity, I reduce my load ONE FULL GRAIN. There can be that much effect.

The Elements of a Primer
A primer is made up of a brass cup filled with explosive compound (lead styphate). Lead styphate detonates on impact. Primers don’t burn – they explode! In the manufacturing process, this compound starts as a liquid. After it’s laid into the cup, and while it’s still wet, a triangular piece or metal (the “anvil”) is set in. When the cup surface is struck by the firing pin, the center collapses, squeezing the explosive compound between the interior of the cup and the anvil. That ignites the compound and sends a flame through the case flash hole, which in turn lights up the propellant.

Primers Can be Dangerous — Particularly When Stacked
Don’t underestimate that. I’ve had one experience that fortunately only created a huge start, but I know others who have had bigger more startling mishaps. These (almost always) come from primer reservoirs, such fill-tubes. Pay close attention when charging up a tube and make sure all the primers are facing the right way, and that you’re not trying to put in “one more” when it’s full! That’s when “it” usually happens. What will happen, by the way, is akin to a small grenade. Static electricity has also been blamed, so keep that in mind.

Sizes and Types of Primers
Primers come in two sizes and four types. “Large” and “small”: for example, .223 Rem. takes small, .308 Win. takes large. Then there are pistol and rifle in each size.

Rifle primers and pistol primers are not the same, even though they share common diameters! Rifle primers [normally] have a tougher cup, and, usually, a hotter flash. Never swap rifle for pistol. Now, some practical-style competitive pistol shooters using their very high-pressure loads (like .38 Super Comp) sometimes substitute rifle primers because they’ll “handle” more pressure, but they’ve also tricked up striker power. That’s a specialized need.

Further, some primer brands are available with a “magnum” option. Some aren’t. My experience has been that depends on the “level” of their standard primer. A magnum primer, as you might guess, has a more intense, stouter flash that travels more “deeply” to ignite the larger and more dense powder column. It reaches further, faster.

Glen Zediker reloaders corner midsouth book AR-15 reloading  brass safety primer resizing

Flash Consistency Counts
Glen Zediker reloaders corner midsouth book AR-15 reloading  brass safety primer resizingFlash Consistency is very important, shot to shot. The consistency of every component is important: bullet weights, diameters, case wall thicknesses, and all the way down the list. We’re hoping to get more consistent behavior from a “match” or “benchrest” primer, and we’re paying more for it. I can tell you that some brands that aren’t touted as “match” are already consistent. That all comes from experience: try different primers, just respect the need to initially reduce the load for each test.

Primer Dimensional Differences and Primer Tools
One last thing — there are small variations in primer dimensions (heights, diameters) among various brands. These variations are not influential to performance. However — small diameter variations can influence feeding through priming tools. This can be a hitch especially in some progressive loading machines. Manufacturers usually offer insight (aka: “warnings”) as to which are or aren’t compatible, so find out.

Glen Zediker reloaders corner midsouth book AR-15 reloading brass safety primer resizingGet Midsouth products HERE

Get Primer trays HERE

This article is adapted from Glen’s books, Handloading For Competition and Top-Grade Ammo, available at Midsouth HERE. Learn more about Glen’s books at ZedikerPublishing.com.

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August 5th, 2020

Rimfire Challenge and New Products on Shooting USA This Week

Shooting USA rimfire challenge worlk, Arkansas

There’s a good episode of Shooting USA TV this week, featuring the Rimfire Challenge World Championships. This major match attracts hundreds of competitors from around the nation. It’s fast and fun with instant feedback from ringing plates indicating hits. The Rimfire Challenge Championships is family-friendly event that’s great for all skill and experience levels. This week Shooting USA will also feature two dozen new-for-2020 products, including new pistols, rifles, shotguns, optics, holsters, and more.

Shooting USA airs Wednesday 9:00 PM Eastern and Pacific, 8:00 PM Central on Outdoor Channel. You can also watch Shooting USA any time online via Vimeo.com.

The Rimfire Challenge World Championships

The Rimfire Challenge is just about the most fun you can have with .22 LR pistols and rifles. The Rimfire Challenge Championship drew 250 competitors to the Old Fort Gun Club in Arkansas. The competition is similar to the Steel Challenge, but a lower cost, family-friendly rimfire only event. And the steel target set up is different each time, with competitors only knowing how many targets to shoot, and in what order, when they step to the shooting box.

Shooting USA new products rifmire challenge

This Rimfire Challenge Championship featured 16 stages — 8 for pistol, 8 for rifle. On each stage, shooters engage 5, 6, or 7 targets, in five separate strings of fire, with the best four runs counting for record.

NSSF Rimfire Challenge Basics
The Rimfire Challenge is a two-gun event so you need a rifle and a handgun (either a semi-auto pistol, or revolver). There are two divisions: 1) Open — Any firearm (pistol or revolver in handgun class) with scopes, optical sights, light gathering scopes, battery powered optics or lasers; and 2) Limited — Pistols and rifles with iron sights, adjustable metallic sights, and/or fiber optic. Bolt-action rifles and lever-action rifles are allowed, but self-loading (semi-auto) rifles are most popular because they can shoot quickly.

rimfire Challenge

Many different stage designs can be employed at Rimfire Challenge matches. Shown above are two examples from the Rimfire Challenge Suggested Courses of Fire.

New-for-2020 Products Also Featured this Week

Shooting USA has assembled many of the new products which were to be unveiled at the NRA Annual Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee. Unfortunately that Nashville NRA event was cancelled due to the pandemic (there will be a smaller NRA Meeting in St. Louis, MO in September). Jim and John Scoutten review two dozen products that were going to be showcased at the NRA event in Nashville. Here are four of the new products reviewed this week:

Shooting USA new products rifmire challenge

Shooting USA new products rifmire challenge
Shooting USA is available On Demand via Vimeo.com. Watch a single episode for $0.99, or get a full-month subscription for $3.99 and watch as many shows as you like with limited commercial interruptions.

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August 5th, 2020

Home Range Appreciation Series — Filling the Nat’l Matches Void

CMP Home Range Appreciation shooting match high power smallbore pistol 2020

In July and August we should be talking about the CMP Games at Camp Perry (Ohio) and the National Matches at Camp Atterbury (Indiana). Instead, all these events have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Thankfully, the CMP is organizing a local match series that can provide some competitive fun in summer 2020.

To fill the void of the unfortunate withdrawal of the 2020 National Matches from the annual schedule, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) have prepared a solution that will allow competitors to compete with one another during the summer months at their local ranges.

The CMP has created special series of matches for Summer 2020 — the “Home Range Appreciation Series”, a collection of High Power rifle, pistol, smallbore rifle, air rifle and pistol competitions, shot at local facilities, and open to both adult and junior athletes. Scores from all the CMP-sanction home range matches will be complied together, and all participants will receive a commemorative t-shirt and coin. In addition, sponsors will provide awards such as gift certificates, memorabilia, and ammunition.

CLICK HERE for Program General INFO, Rules, Event List »

Home Range Shooting Matches are Underway
Since early June, scores have been pouring in weekly for the CMP’s (CMP) Home Range Appreciation Series of events. Introduced to supplement the cancelled 2020 National Matches in Ohio and Indiana, clubs from Texas, Mississippi, Wyoming, New York and several other states have conducted an assortment of rifle, pistol, smallbore and air rifle competitions at their local ranges.

CMP Home Range Appreciation shooting match high power smallbore pistol 2020

One Home Range event was held at Hornell Sportsman’s Club in New York. “Thanks, CMP, for opening the Home Series,” said the Club’s CMP match coordinator, Joe Menichino. “We are all disappointed that the Perry matches were cancelled, and this series gives us a chance to shoot and compete.”

GENERAL INFORMATION
Each local match will be sanctioned by a CMP Affiliated club. All matches MUST be fired by September 8 and results received by September 14, 2020. All results will be final on October 1, 2020. A list of matches will be posted on the CMP website. Participants may fire in more than one event of the same discipline, but only the scores of the first event will be recorded, with the exception of the White Oak 1600 Aggregate which is two 800 Aggregate matches. This event maybe fired at different locations for competitors to complete their two 800 Aggregate matches.

SAFETY and HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS
The CMP reminds clubs to follow all state and local health guidelines and health advisories. Recommended range health practices include: limiting/spacing the number of participants who congregate for safety briefings, spacing out firing points, leaving empty firing points between shooters, ensuring participants wear masks, washing hands frequently, providing disinfectant wipes, and continuously cleaning common surfaces such as shooting benches and equipment.

  • List of Rifle and Pistol Ranges Hosting Home Range Series
  • List of Air Rifle and Smallbore Ranges Hosting Home Range Series
  • Home Range Club Sanction Application Form
  • Home Range Series Match Results
  • For questions on Rifle, Pistol or Games Matches, contact Christina Roguski at croguski [at] thecmp.org or (419) 635-2141, ext. 714. For questions about Smallbore Matches, contact Brad Donoho at bdonoho [at] thecmp.org or (419) 635-2141, ext. 730. For Air Rifle match questions, contact Katie Harrington at kharrington [at] thecmp.org or (419) 635-2141, ext. 731.

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    August 4th, 2020

    Accuracy vs. Precision — Litz Explains the Difference

    Applied Ballistics Rounds on Target DVD accurateshooter.com

    The NSSF has posted a video featuring Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics. Bryan also serves as Chief Ballistician for Berger Bullets and ABM Ammo. In this short video, Bryan explains the importance of ballistics for precision shooting at long range. Bryan covers key elements — drop, wind drift, angle correction and more. And Bryan also explains the key difference between Accuracy and Precision.

    The principles Bryan discusses are covered (in greater detail) in the Putting Rounds on Target instructional DVD set. This 3-Disc collection boasts a total run-time of 3 hours and 37 minutes. The three DVDs, with many graphics and video segments, deliver as much information as a weekend shooting seminar… at a fraction of the cost. The 3-DVD set sells for $44.95.

    Applied Ballistics Rounds on Target DVD accurateshooter.com

    Disc 1

    • Accuracy & Precision
    • Tall Target Test
    • Chronographs & Statistics
    • Ballistic Coefficient
    • Trajectory Terms
    • Run Time: 1 hour, 4 min

    Disc 2

    • Primary Elevation (Wind)
    • Secondary Effects
    • Using Ballistics Solvers
    • Short & LR Equipment
    • Run Time: 1 hour, 11 min

    Disc 3

    • On The Range: .308 Win
    • On The Range: .284 Win
    • On The Range: .338 LM
    • Extended Range Shooting
    • One Mile Shooting
    • Run Time: 1 hour, 22 min

    DVD Applied Ballistics Bryan Litz Shooting F-Class .284 Win .338 LM

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    August 4th, 2020

    Brownells Videos on PRS, Handloading, Ammo Storage and More

    Brownells video archive youtube channel AR15 reloading .22 LR cleaning

    Brownells is a well-known retailer of guns, gun parts, tools, accessories, ammo, and pretty much everything gun related. What you may not know is that Brownells has a very active video production department that releases new “how-to” and product information videos every week. These videos offer helpful advice on gun cleaning/maintenance, reloading, as well as selecting/assembling components for various kinds of rifles. And every week Brownells serves up a new products video. There now over 1000 videos on the Brownells YouTube Channel, this really is a remarkable resource.

    Here are six of our favorite recent videos from Brownells. AR owners will find some good advice on spare parts, new reloaders can learn how to use the OAL tool, and all gun owners should watch the video on ammunition storage.

    Introduction to PRS Competition

    In this video, Tom Beckstrand, former Special Forces Sniper Team Leader and Guns & Ammo magazine staffer, looks at the Precision Rifle Series (PRS). Tom covers the types of stages in a typical PRS match using unconventional, real-world shooting rests. He also discusses the equipment you’ll need including bag supports, bipods, tripods, and optics. As most ranges aren’t set up for PRS, Tom offers tips on how to train at your local range.

    How to Use Hornady OAL Tool and Hornady Bullet Comparator

    Gun Tech Steve Ostrem explains how to properly use Hornady’s Overall Length Gauge to determine length-to-land precisely. The OAL Gauge uses a “Modified Case” that theads onto the tool and holds a bullet. Push on the back of the gauge until you feel the bullet just touch the rifling. (We do this gently at first, tapping the rod a couple time to ensure the bullet is aligned correctly). Once you’ve got the length, then use the tool with a comparator on your calipers to get the lenght-to-lands. NOTE: We recommend taking the measurement 3-4 times in a row to get a reliable number. With a little practice your should be able to get repeatable measurements within .0015″.

    New Bog Pod Tripod and Caldwell Electronic Muffs

    Brownells staffer Paul Levy showcases the impressive new DeathGrip Tripod from Bog Gear. The DeathGrip’s adjustable jaws clamp firmly to the rifle’s forearm. This is a useful device for both PRS shooters and hunters. The head assembly has 25-deg front/rear tilt and 360-deg swivel. And the jaws’ non-slip, rubberized padding won’t scratch that stock. The legs snap open to three pre-set hard stops, and there’s plenty of length extension. Easily switch between rubber feet and steel spikes without removing a single part from the trippod. This video also features Caldwell’s E-Max™ Pro noise-cancelling electronic muffs. These affordable 23 dB NRR units boast dual microphones and digital volume controls, and two sizes are offered — Youth and Adult.

    How to Store Ammunition Safely and Securely

    Notably, this is the single most popular Brownells video this year, with 494,000 views since March 2020. Here’s the deal — ammunition WILL keep for a long time if you store it properaly. DO store ammunition in a cool, dry place that doesn’t have wide temperature swings. Temperature cycling will also degrade primers and powder. Put it in airtight ammo cans to keep out the moisture. Tupperware containers will work too. Brownells also recommends putting moisture-absorbing silica packs in your ammo containers. DON’T just keep ammo in factory cardboard factory boxes stacked in the basement, attic, or garage — especially not on the floor! The ammunition boxes will absorb moisture which will degrade primers and powder and corrode the brass cases. Yes, sealed military ammo will usually handle this kind of storage for quite a while, but it’s still not wise.

    Must-Have Spare Parts for AR-Platform Rifles

    This is one of Brownells most popular recent videos, with 154,000 views in just four months. Two gun technicians answer the question: “What spare parts should I keep on hand for my AR-15?” On the list are: Gas Rings, Buffer Spring, Extractor Spring and Pin. NOTE: You may want to try the one-piece spiral gas ring rather than the standard rings which require alignment. The cotter pin and cam pin can also easily get lost when the Bolt Carrier Group is disassembled for cleaning. On the lower receiver you’ll want spare springs and detents for the pivot/takedown pins. If you’re using lighter-power springs, keep standard-power spares on hand. If your rifle stops working, swap in the factory-spec springs to find out if the problem is the gun or your ammo. Also, if you have upgraded your trigger, always keep the original trigger as a backup.

    Cleaning Advice for .22 LR Rimfire Rifles

    Gun Techs Steve Ostrem and Caleb Savant debunk some myths about cleaning .22 LR barrels. One myth is that cleaning will harm the accuracy of a .22 LR barrel. Caleb thinks this myth is the result of people cleaning a barrel from the muzzle and damaging the muzzle crown, which CAN diminish accuracy. If it’s done right, cleaning won’t damage the bore. However, you certainly do NOT have to clean your 22 LR’s bore every time you go to the range. But DO clean the action every time you shoot the rifle, especially on a semi-auto. What about shooting a lot of lead bullets? Won’t that lead up the bore? The guys give us the straight skinny on lead fouling, too. When you see your .22 LR rifle’s groups opening up, you may want to consider cleaning.

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